MORE demand than ever is being seen for food parcels in Northumberland.
The Wansbeck Valley Food Bank, which covers Morpeth and surrounding communities, is making an extra effort to provide parcels for social services and children’s centres to distribute to needy families over the Christmas period.
But it has also seen a steady increase in referrals over the last few months, with more than 60 people coming forward in October and numbers growing by the week.
Schools and community groups have been providing Christmas treats to add to parcels, but there is still a need for more basic foodstuff and organisers are appealing for donations.
Project Manager Linda Fugill said: “We are very busy at the moment and we are doing parcels to give to social services for anybody who comes in over Christmas. If they come across an emergency on Christmas Eve they will have parcels to give out.
“There is a lot more demand for food parcels, but it is not just because of Christmas, it is people who are struggling to get basic food.
“We have been quite successful at getting festive things for the parcels through schools and people have been very generous about donating selection boxes and things like that to give to families, but what we would ask for is more basic things.
“We are always in desperate need of dried or long-life milk and cereal. Tinned fruit and tinned rice pudding is also useful, but we have a lot of pasta and baked beans at the moment. Anything that is tinned, dried or has a long shelf-life should be fine. We would also take toiletries and nappies.”
The food bank is also in need of volunteers.
Donations can be dropped off at the New Life Christian Centre in Dacre Street, Morpeth. For information, or to volunteer to help, call 07841 908477, Monday to Friday during normal office hours.